Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
Cora Wilson Stewart papers
University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506
Arranged chronologically, box 1 to 16; boxes 16 to 72 arranged topically.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Cora Wilson Stewart papers, 1900-1940, 1M58M25, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.
32 cubic ft, (ca. 40,000 pieces).
Educator, author. Born in Rowan County, Ky., Cora Wilson Stewart was educated at Morehead Normal School, the National Normal University and the University of Kentucky. In 1911, while serving as superintendent of Rowan County Schools, she established an adult education program aimed at eliminating illiteracy known as the "Moonlight Schools." Her pioneering efforts on behalf of illiteracy gained her a national reputation as an education reformist. In 1914 she was appointed head of the newly formed Kentucky Illiteracy Commission. She later worked for the Illiteracy Commission of the National Education Association, the National Illiteracy Crusade, the World Federation of Educational Associations and other agencies throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
During the 1930s her involvement in education waned as she became active in the Oxford Group, a religious organization. Stewart authored a series of readers for adult illiterates as well as readers for American soldiers during World War I, American Indians and many magazine articles.
These are the papers of education reformist Cora Wilson Stewart. This collection includes diaries, scrapbooks, correspondence, broadsides, pamphlets, speeches, photographs (removed to the Photo Archives), school materials, financial records, articles and unpublished manuscripts relating to Stewart's crusade against illiteracy. Correspondents include noted political leaders such as J. C. W. Beckham, James M. Cox, Alben Barkley, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Her efforts on behalf of native americans are reflected in photographs and various examples of Indian writing. Additional material documents her interest in educating illiterate soldiers during World War I and the impact of the Russian Revolution and subsequent "Red Scare" on her work.